Monday, January 13, 2014

I dare you to rest.

It strikes me that it requires a certain amount of faith to stop “doing stuff,” and to simply rest.

Of course, I’m not talking about the type of “rest” that overtakes you due to sheer exhaustion, flattening you out on the kitchen floor or wherever else you happen to be when your body just quits. That’s simply collapsing.

Resting, however, requires a measure of faith. It is utterly impossible for the one who thinks too highly of herself, who insists on being the grown-up all the time, and who has forgotten how to live like a child.

How is it possible to rest, for the one who believes any of the following:

I am the glue that holds the world together.
I will never feel better/refreshed/caught up until my to-do list is empty.
I don’t “deserve” a nap when I could be doing something productive.
My body is a machine.
Rest is for wimps.
The world cannot sustain itself without me actively employing my skills in it, not even for an hour.

When I think too highly of myself, and too little of God, I cannot rest, cannot stop, cannot nap. To the soul who cannot stop, God speaks:

In vain you rise early     
and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—     
for he grants sleep to those he loves. 
Psalm 127: 2

This verse is not all comfort to me, as it reminds me that my work— my well-done, eager, sweaty work— may actually be done in vain.

In vain you organize drawers and wipe the floor by the toilet, for they shall return, destroying. In vain do you wash and cook those veggies, for they shall not eat them, and complaints shall pound your ears.

The repeated chores in my vocation may indeed be done in vain. Scarier still, the whole project— carrying, birthing, and caring for these bodies, the tucking and praying and singing and disciplining— could perhaps be in vain, should a child forsake Him who loves them.

How can I rest when the enemy seeks to devour?

To the soul who cannot stop, God speaks:

Unless the Lord builds the house,     
the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city,     
the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early     
and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—     
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Psalm 127-1-2

Unless the Lord builds. Unless He watches.
Unless He cares.

The child who realizes the future is entirely dependant on the Lord’s provision runs scared into the Father’s arms. Do you care? Are you building, watching, providing?

The Father is not angry, though we have had this conversation many times before. He embraces his child, enfolds her in His promises like a warm blanket. He sings to her of Jesus, of sinners reconciled, of love unto death.

Do I care? Of course, child. 
Come. Be loved.


And the child hears this invitation to fear, love, and trust in God above all things. And this God is worthy of this whole-hearted, full-bodied, deeply-resting love.

And the overworked muscles unclench in the gentle warmth, and God, in His grace, gives rest.

It is finished— everything that matters, really, is already finished.

I shall lie down, and sleep,
In peace.
(Psalm 4)

This is the second post in this month's series: 

Will you (re)learn how to be a child with me?
I double-dog dare you.

If you liked this post, consider sharing it with a friend!

You may also enjoy my published works:

an inspirational story of God’s grace

and for Mothers who tend to everyone else— May Jesus Himself Tend to YOU. 


  1. It does, I think, take faith like a child to rest. We have to trust that we will complete what the Lord wants us to complete. Follow His to-do list instead of ours, maybe, huh?

    And remembering that our rest is in Christ is, oh, so helpful. He has completed all things for us. Our completions are icing on the cake.

    1. It does... this is likely why I don't do it until I really REALLY need to :) Yes, His to-do list, which I think might include more "just being" and "just receiving from Him" than I typically pencil in :)

  2. Oh this is definitely the topic I need to be reminded of and think on over and over again. I can make my body rest, (well at least I'm getting better at that) but "making" my heart rest is a very different battle right now.

    Thanks for this one.

    1. You're welcome Aubri.
      Yes, a body can be forced to rest more easily than a heart sometimes! I agree!


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